Redefining the Workplace at LaFleur
When LaFleur opened its virtual doors, founder Chip LaFleur set out with the vision that “going to work” didn’t have to mean sitting your rear end in a chair from 8 to 5 every weekday and crossing off the items on your to-do list.
Having worked in several difficult work environments, Chip felt passionate about changing the way our culture looks at “work.” Based on research (as most of Chip’s decisions are), there were a few big things he wanted to incorporate into the way his business defined the workplace.
- Flexible scheduling
- Giving back to the community
- Autonomous work environment
So little-by-little, Chip started building LaFleur by setting the tone from the top down. As the team quickly grew from three to fifteen employees within just a couple years, it was important to stay true to our values. Work life can get complicated, and it’s easy to get caught up in the numbers, but so far, we’ve done an excellent job of remaining focused on the team.
Let’s Take the Temperature of Employee Happiness
Recently, I asked our team to take an anonymous survey to understand what exactly they believe makes working at LaFleur so great — but first, I began by asking “Do you enjoy working at LaFleur?” After all, that’s really the main question, right?
100% of employees answered “Yes.” Great news, but I wanted to know more, so I asked what it was that our team members appreciate about working at LaFleur (in order of importance and level of excitement):
- Flexible schedule
- Work culture
- The people
- Our commitment to volunteering
- Unlimited vacation time
- The work we do
- Our office location
- The food
The flexible schedule is great, and it helps relieve a lot of the stress associated with going to doctor’s appointments, taking care of sick family members or pets, taking care of yourself when you’re sick, etc. But when I asked the team members to talk about how LaFleur compares to other places they’ve worked, their answers didn’t have anything to do with time off or sleeping in.
“I am so happy that I have landed at LaFleur and found such a great team to spend the majority of my waking hours with. These people far surpass any team I have been part of before.”
“By far, this is the best job I’ve ever had. There is an incredible sense of value and autonomy, and such an immense sense of pride for the work we do and the organization we represent.”
“I’ve had a lot of flexibility in previous positions, but LaFleur goes beyond that by really caring about their team.”
“This is one of the highest performing teams I’ve ever worked on. People take pride in their work and truly respect their peers’ contributions.”
“I appreciate the overall respect and trust that each team member receives that you don’t get many other places. There is no one looking over your shoulder constantly. Much more team-oriented than places I have worked before, and everyone is willing to help where ever possible.”
Valuing Your Employees as People, Not Drones
Chip always said he wanted to be friends with every person he worked with. After all, if he couldn’t stand hanging out with an employee, why would he want that person working for his organization? We take great care at LaFleur to make sure every team member is a good culture fit for our organization. In doing so, we’re building a team of highly respectful and competent people who enjoy being around one another, which almost always leads to amazing results.
One of our team members summed it up well when they said, “At LaFleur, the work doesn’t define us. The people define us. I think that makes LaFleur one of the strongest business models I’ve ever seen.”
Build a team of great people, and you will attract and retain great clients. It’s as simple as that.
To reinforce our bond as teammates, we spend time outside the office giving back to our community through volunteer efforts, running 5k races together, and even the occasional low-stakes, high-fun poker night. All these events, plus our monthly PatLucks (named after our potluck-loving team member, Pat Kose), help us get to know and respect one another as human beings outside of work.
We also support specific team members by planning activities that are important and valuable to them. Not all of us are runners, but we band together to run with the team members who love to run. Not all of us like to give blood, but we’ll sign up to support a cause that is important to one of our team members. While all of this might seem minor, it’s how we achieve such high levels of employee happiness and engagement.
“Our commitment to people is more than skin deep. It’s amazing to work in a place that genuinely cares about its employees and the community at large.”
Taking a Walk Down LaFleur Memory Lane
In our office poll, I asked employees to recall one of their favorite LaFleur memories, here are the greatest hits:
“There are so many. But I would say some of my favorite memories are during team PatLucks when we eat, share about our day, and really get to know each other. I feel like those lunches are incredible stress relievers, and everyone ends up laughing and coming together.”
“When Falon does the anniversary dance or measuring Planty the Plant – also, all of the jokes.”
“I can’t think of a specific instance, but I definitely look back on our potlucks, walks, and volunteering activities as the most vivid memories I have for LaFleur.”
“Christmas 2017. It was nice to have everybody in town and celebrate the work we had done all year.”
Changing the Way We Do Work
As we reflect back on the goals Chip set out to achieve all those years ago, I think it’s fair to say we’ve done a great job changing the way we approach work, especially in the marketing industry, where time equals money. Our team members feel cared about and cared for. And in turn, we know they genuinely care about the work they do for our clients.
We value our community, the people who live and work around us, and taking the time to give back. All these “extras” are what we put first, and we have found great success and growth in that — personally and professionally. You should try it, too!
If you’d like to learn more about how we are working to develop a unique and beneficial work culture or our singular approach to creating effective digital marketing campaigns, please complete this brief form or call (888) 222-1512.